Is Neutrogena Cruelty-Free? Here’s The Astounding Truth

is neutrogena cruelty-free

You know that one brand you’ll spot on the shelves of nearly every drugstore, from Walmart to Target to Ulta? 

Yup, it’s Neutrogena. 

Neutrogena has a lineup that covers makeup, skincare, and hair care – they’ve got you covered from head to toe! 

This whole journey started in 1930 when it was known as Natone and was the brainchild of Emmanuel Stolaroff. 

Fast forward, and it’s become a big deal in the beauty and skincare scene, all while cozying up under the Johnson & Johnson umbrella.

Now, tons of people are snagging Neutrogena stuff these days, whether it’s the TikTok favorite Hydro Boost Water Gel or the trusty Deep Clean Facial Cleanser.

But one question that often pops up about this famous American drugstore brand is, “Is Neutrogena cruelty-free?”

So, today, I will spill the beans on whether Neutrogena is cruelty-free, vegan, and sustainable and if they’re keeping it clean and green. 

That way, you’ll know if you wanna grab their goodies or keep searching for something else.

Is Neutrogena cruelty-free?

is neutrogena cruelty-free

So, is Neutrogena cruelty-free? I hate to be the bearer of not-so-great news, but Neutrogena is NOT a cruelty-free brand

Why, you ask?

First, they’re selling their goodies in mainland China, where animal testing is compulsory. That’s a big no-no in the cruelty-free world.

Secondly, if you hop on over to Neutrogena’s website, they flat-out say they don’t ask others to do animal testing for them, except when it’s mandated by law. 

Whenever you see that “except” in a brand’s animal testing policy, it’s a red flag – they’re not cruelty-free.

And here’s the kicker – Neutrogena doesn’t spill the beans about their suppliers. 

Now, those suppliers could be conducting animal testing either on their own, through a third party, or in some other way.

So, Is Neutrogena cruelty-free? 

Nope, Neutrogena doesn’t make the cruelty-free cut in my book, given all these reasons.

Decoding Neutrogena’s animal testing policy

When figuring out “Is Neutrogena cruelty-free?” it’s essential to do some detective work beyond their animal testing policy.

So, I took a peek at what Neutrogena says on their website, and it’s pretty clear that their claim of not conducting animal testing is a bit tricky.

Below is the screenshot of Neutrogena’s animal testing policy:

is neutrogena cruelty-free

On their website, Neutrogena proudly claims that they don’t conduct animal testing, except in those rare instances where governments demand it.

They seem to use the word “fact” to suggest that they don’t test on animals, but that exception for government requirements raises a big red flag. 

Especially considering that they paid for their products to be tested in China, where testing on animals is mandatory.

Neutrogena also seems to downplay its involvement in animal testing by using terms like “rare situation” and “alternative testing methods.”

But, when you look at their policy, they do tests on animals “where governments or laws require it.”

And the fact that they don’t spill the beans about their suppliers is another gray area that leaves room for potential animal testing through those channels.

So, is Neutrogena cruelty-free?

After examining their animal testing policy, Neutrogena doesn’t quite meet my criteria for being considered cruelty-free.

Is Neutrogena sold in China?

Yes, Neutrogena chooses to distribute its products in China, where animal testing is compulsory by law. 

I stumbled upon evidence of Neutrogena’s presence in mainland China through their official website,, and their products are available in Watson stores.

is neutrogena cruelty-free

Now, the catch is that when brands like Neutrogena choose to sell their goods in mainland China, they must agree to and often pay for their products to undergo animal testing. 

While Neutrogena may not conduct these tests directly, they knowingly permit Chinese authorities to conduct animal testing on their products to comply with Chinese regulations.

Considering all of this, it’s clear that Neutrogena doesn’t align with cruelty-free standards. 

Is Neutrogena cruelty-free? Based on these practices, I wouldn’t view them as a cruelty-free brand.

A look into China’s animal testing laws

China’s got a rulebook that foreign cosmetics companies must follow, and it’s all about animal testing. 

Even the big shots from America and Europe, the ones you see on every shelf, must undergo animal testing if they wish to be sold in China.

But wait, there’s a twist in this tale. 

In 2014, China gave its rulebook a makeover. They decided that local cosmetics made in China don’t need to go through the animal testing hoops anymore. Nice, right? 

But hold up – if those goodies are made outside of China, like in other countries, they’re still in for the animal testing ride.

And here’s the thing – even though the local players don’t have to do the animal testing cha-cha, they could still decide to take a spin on the testing floor now and then, even when there are other ways to check stuff out.

Quick heads up: the animal testing fuss in China is mainly about stuff in actual stores, not online. 

So, no animal testing is required if someone in China grabs cosmetics from an overseas online shop.

Now, where does Neutrogena fit into all this? 

There’s no clear information suggesting that Neutrogena has taken actions to avoid animal testing while selling in China. 

They pay for animal tests done by the Chinese authorities and sell their products online and in physical stores in China. 

That’s why the answer to your question – Is Neutrogena cruelty-free is still a no.

Is Neutrogena vegan?

No, Neutrogena isn’t on the vegan train because they use ingredients like beeswax and lanolin in their products. 

Neutrogena has some products labeled as “vegan” that exclude animal-derived ingredients. 

However, due to their involvement in animal testing, I wouldn’t personally label any Neutrogena products as vegan at this moment.

Is Neutrogena clean and sustainable?

is neutrogena cruelty-free

So, is Neutrogena cruelty-free, clean, and sustainable?

No, Neutrogena doesn’t fall into the category of clean beauty brands

They still include synthetic ingredients and harsh chemicals in their products. 

Clean beauty brands are known for offering products that steer clear of harmful components for humans, animals, and the environment. 

It’s important to note that being a clean beauty brand doesn’t necessarily mean a brand is vegan or cruelty-free.

Now, when it comes to sustainability, Neutrogena is making some efforts in that direction. 

Their website contains a somewhat vague statement indicating their commitment to sustainability, mentioning how their efforts aim to create products and packaging that are both good for people and better for the planet. 

They’ve also set sustainability goals to achieve by 2023-2025, which is a positive step.

So, while they’re not all the way there yet, you could say that they’re making strides towards improving their ethical and sustainability practices, moving in a more sustainable direction.

Is Neutrogena owned by a cruelty-free parent company?

Is Neutrogena cruelty-free? What about its parent company?

Neutrogena is owned by Johnson & Johnson, a company that still does animal testing. 

So, neither Neutrogena nor its parent brand can be considered cruelty-free. 

Some people who care about cruelty-free products might buy from brands that have animal-testing parent companies, hoping it’ll encourage the bigger company to change. 

However, in this case, Neutrogena and Johnson & Johnson aren’t cruelty-free.

Does Neutrogena have any cruelty-free certifications?

Neutrogena has no certifications from recognized cruelty-free organizations like Leaping Bunny or PETA

However, they find a spot on PETA’s “Companies That Do Not Test on Animals” checklist.

But here’s the catch: being featured on PETA’s list doesn’t automatically make a brand completely cruelty-free. 

PETA’s list includes companies that refrain from animal testing but could still use animal-derived ingredients or market their products in countries where animal testing is mandated. 

So, it’s a good sign but not the whole story.

Does Neutrogena test on animals?

Yes, Neutrogena conducts animal testing. They give the green light for their products to undergo testing on animals when it’s a legal requirement, such as when they’re sold in China. 

Is Neutrogena cruelty-free? To put it plainly, Neutrogena doesn’t fit the bill as a cruelty-free brand in my book.

How to find out if a brand is cruelty-free and vegan?

When you’re on the hunt for a genuinely cruelty-free and vegan brand, the simplest route is to keep an eye out for third-party certifications. 

Organizations like Leaping Bunny and PETA are your go-to sources for cruelty-free certifications. 

They give the green light to companies that pledge to follow strict guidelines against animal testing.

Similarly, The Vegan Society offers a Vegan Trademark to companies that don’t use any animal-derived ingredients in their products. 

Spotting these certifications is a reliable indicator that a brand is genuinely cruelty-free and vegan.

But here’s the twist: you need to dig deeper. 

Some companies may claim cruelty-free and vegan but might not fully adhere to those standards. 

So, peek at the company’s website for information about their animal testing policies and ingredients. 

If you stumble upon words like “Except” or “Wherever required by law,” consider it a sign that the company isn’t entirely in the cruelty-free and vegan camp.

Cruelty-free alternatives to Neutrogena

Is Neutrogena cruelty-free? Neutrogena might not be cruelty-free, but some brands are working hard to ensure no animal harm for their products. 

Here are a few you might want to check out:

  1. e.l.f. Cosmetics
  2. Wet n Wild
  3. Physicians Formula
  4. Pixi Beauty
  5. CoverGirl
  6. Milani
  7. Tarte Cosmetics
  8. Too Faced
  9. Urban Decay
  10. Pacifica Beauty
  11. Burt’s Bees
  12. ColourPop
  13. BH Cosmetics
  14. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

Remember, when shopping, look for symbols like the Leaping Bunny, PETA, or “cruelty-free” labels on the packaging. This way, you can be sure you’re supporting brands that are nice to animals. 

Wrapping Up

I did some research on “Is Neutrogena cruelty-free?” and unfortunately, the answer is no. 

Neutrogena doesn’t meet the cruelty-free criteria because they may conduct animal testing themselves, have it done by their suppliers, or use third-party testing. 

It’s also worth noting that Neutrogena is owned by a parent company that isn’t cruelty-free and sells its products in China.

In addition, Neutrogena isn’t entirely vegan, and its products may contain fragrances and parabens. 

While they claim to be committed to ending animal testing and have been using alternative testing methods for over three decades, they aren’t officially certified by cruelty-free organizations.

And that was all about – Is Neutrogena cruelty-free?

Now, I’d love to hear your thoughts on companies that aren’t cruelty-free. Feel free to share your opinions in the comments!


Does Neutrogena use animal-derived ingredients?

Yes, Neutrogena incorporates animal-derived ingredients like lanolin and beeswax into their products. 

Will Neutrogena ever go cruelty-free?

Neutrogena assures that they don’t test their cosmetic products on animals, except in rare cases when governments mandate it. 

While they are actively exploring alternative testing methods, it might be challenging for them to become completely cruelty-free in the near future.

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